Safety & Security

The safety of all ceremony participants and ceremony guests is a top priority of the university. As such, TU has adopted a number of security procedures for Commencement.  

Towson University has adopted a number of procedures to maintain safety at Commencement and other major events hosted in the Johnny Unitas® Stadium based on a review of TU’s security measures and an assessment of best practices at similar institutions and event destinations across the country. The security procedures that will be in place for each ceremony are outlined below. 

Gates open 90 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony. Guests should arrive early to allow adequate time to get through gate security and locate their reserved seats. 

Guest Security 

SECU Arena Access

Any guest who enters Johnny Unitas® Stadium must have a ticket (this includes infants and children). There is no exception to this rule. Forged, reprinted, digital or photocopied tickets will not be honored.

Bag Checks 

Guest bags will be checked prior to event entrance, and bags larger than 22 x 12 x 8 inches will not be permitted in the stadium. 

Guests with bags that exceed the size limit or other prohibited items will not be able to stow their items, and will be asked to discard these items or return them to their vehicle. Boxes that are 22 x 12 x 8 inches will be available at the entrance to the arena for size reference. Prohibited items include:

  • food and beverage that may be brought into Johnny Unitas® Stadium are limited to: unopened bottles of water, small bags of snack or fruit. Alcohol is not permitted. 
  • animals (with the exception of service animals)
  • audio or video recording equipment
  • bags/purses larger than 22 x 12 x 8"
  • Bota bags, wineskins or flasks
  • balloons, confetti, streamers, glitter, fireworks, etc.
  • balls, bikes, hoverboards, roller blades, scooters, etc.
  • cameras with lenses greater than 8"(including monopods and tripods)
  • cigarettes, vapes, etc.
  • containers, coolers, flasks, baskets, etc.
  • drones or airborne devices
  • illegal drugs
  • knives over 3” in length
  • laser pointers, markers, dry erase boards, paint, etc.
  • noisemaking devices
  • large umbrellas
  • sticks or poles, including selfie-sticks
  • weapons (common examples include, but are not limited to: aerosol cans, mace, pepper spray, firearms, including CCW permit holders, pocket knives, knives, spiked bracelets, brass knuckles, martial arts weapons, stun guns, and chains)

Metal Detection 

Handheld metal detectors operated by Safe Management (security staff contracted by the university) employees will be used to check guests prior to event entrance. When attending an event, please give yourself adequate time for going through the safety procedures.

Degree Candidate Security 

Degree candidates participating in the ceremonies should report to the Robing Tent in Lot 6. Upon entrance to the Robing Tent, Safe Management (security staff contracted by the university) will conduct bag checks, handheld metal detection and related security inspections to ensure the safety of all degree candidates, guests, faculty and staff. 

Bag Checks

Degree candidates are strongly discouraged from bringing any bags, coats, or other personal items to the robing area. However, degree candidates are permitted to take a small cross-body bag into the robing room (this must be worn under the gown during the ceremony) and processional. This bag may not exceed 10 x 10 x 2 inches.

Any bags that exceed these measurements must be checked in the bag-check area, which is located just inside the Robing Tent. 

ID Checks

Upon entering the Robing Tent, degree candidates should first check-in with the volunteers located against the back wall to receive a name card (a TU student ID or another official form of identification must be presented to receive a card and participate in the ceremony). As a reminder, only students who have been approved to graduate and registered for Commencement will be permitted to participate in a ceremony. 

Robing Tent Procedures and Expectations 

A number of TU staff members will be closely monitoring the activities in the robing area to ensure a safe and memorable commencement for all degree candidates.

Candidates who exhibit signs of physical impairment due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. 

Additionally, fraudulent activity, misrepresentation of information, or ineligibility to participate in Commencement may result in disciplinary action through the TU Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices and/or inability to participate in the ceremony.

Faculty/Staff/Volunteer Security  

Anyone entering SECU Arena (i.e. faculty , staff, degree candidates, guests, etc.) will undergo handheld metal detection and bag checks. 

Bag Checks 

Bags larger than 10 x 10 x 2 may not be take into the ceremony. Unopened bottles of water, small bags of snack or fruit are permitted. Prohibited items (e.g. alcohol, weapons, noisemakers, etc.) are not permitted in Johnny Unitas® Stadium.